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Thread: Hb 158

  1. #1

    Default Hb 158

    This should interest all sheep hunters and all hunters in general. I just got off the phone with Thor Stacey, you may recognize the name from testifying at the BOG hearings. Thor has submitted a bill to the legislature, HB 158. It reads: [An Act authorizing the commissioner of natural resources to implement a hunting guide concession program or otherwise limit the number of individuals authorized to conduct big game commercial guiding on state land.]

    In general this bill would limit commercial operations on State land just as there are similar restrictions on Federal land. If we do not stop the over commercial utilization of State lands it will not only be the loss of sheep hunting opportunities but all big game. Currently, on State lands residents harvest 20%-40% of sheep annually. On Federal lands these numbers are reversed with the majority going to residents.

    For this bill to pass everyone one of us needs to contact our Representatives and voice our support. The only voices being heard so far have been those of the guiding industry. Our voice carries a lot of weight BUT only if we use it.

  2. #2

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    I just called my Rep.

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    Member Bambistew's Avatar
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    To clarify... The majority of the guides in the state are in favor of this bill. Your reps need to hear from YOU to make something happen.

    I've been doing a bit of research on this recently. Some units will result in a reduction of licensed guides by nearly 50%.

    Here is some more information on the program if you don't know what the program is.

    http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/gcp/

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    Thanks SH for bringing this to our attention........it's a good issue to start with......there are many facets to these issues and all of them need review.

    I turned 72 yesterday and was reflecting on the changes I've seen in Mother Nature's wilderness........we are part of the problem and we must look to limiting ourselves. Since my birth shortly after the Bombing of Pearl Harbor, the world population has gone from 2.3 billion to 7.15 billion or more than trebled......I'd like for your children and grandchildren to enjoy a sheep hunt also.

  5. #5
    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default Please read the bill before you support it!

    Please, before you support this bill, understand that there is an amendment within it that could affect your resident hunting access. It just doesn't give authority to DNR to implement a guide concession program that would limit total number of guides. It also gives DNR the authority to "implement a concession program or otherwise limit the number of individuals who provide transportation services to big game hunters in the field."

    Gee, this was supposed to be about limiting guides, kinda strange how aircraft access for big game hunters got thrown in there, eh?

    Here is a link to the bill:
    http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_documents.asp?session=28&docid=4428

    And I'm pasting in our org's revised comments we sent to the legislature:
    Revised Comments on Proposed DNR Guide Concession Program

    SB 160 and HB 158

    Alaska Backcountry Hunters & Anglers has previously sent in comments opposing HB 158. We wish to revise those comments and clarify our position.

    We still cannot support HB 158 as amended with committee substitute language.

    But we want to make one thing clear. We support authorizing the Department of Natural Resources to regulate big game guides via implementation of a guide concession program.

    We have always supported the concept of a Guide Concession Program that would limit the number of big game guides on state lands. We have been involved from the inception, sending in comments, going to various meetings, testifying at meetings, and making recommendations. We have made DNR and others aware of our concerns with the revisions to the original proposal that have led us to oppose it as it now stands.

    In light of the Board of Game’s recent inaction and failure to use their authority to mitigate the current problems, we support authorizing the Department of Natural Resources to regulate big game guides via implementation of the guide concession program.

    However, we can not and will not support any final bill that includes adding Sec. 38.05.023 that would allow DNR to limit or restrict the number of individuals who provide transportation to big game hunters in the field. That is a deal-breaker for our organization and for most resident Alaskan hunters because the issue before you is finding a way to limit the number of big game guides on state lands, while protecting the resource and addressing crowding concerns related to unlimited guiding, not to authorize any future limits on resident Alaskan hunters.

    We urge legislators to remove this additional language in any final bill if they want a DNR guide concession program to come about.

    Sincerely,

    Alaska Chapter Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

  6. #6

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    If you hunters think that HB 158 will help you, you are wrong. This bill is only in the interest of large guide operations and does nothing to help the resources and it was NOT submitted by Thor who by the way gets paid 20,000 from the APHA to be a lobbyist for the few select guides who make up the APHA. In short this bill does not limit the amount of Non Resident hunters coming into the state it just reallocates who gets to take them. So of no less hunters come to the state how is that helpfull ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkwentnaMan View Post
    If you hunters think that HB 158 will help you, you are wrong. This bill is only in the interest of large guide operations and does nothing to help the resources and it was NOT submitted by Thor who by the way gets paid 20,000 from the APHA to be a lobbyist for the few select guides who make up the APHA. In short this bill does not limit the amount of Non Resident hunters coming into the state it just reallocates who gets to take them. So of no less hunters come to the state how is that helpfull ?
    Can you help me understand how this would re-allocate who takes them?



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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    I got sucked into thinking this was a good thing too. This bill will do nothing to limit the number of non resident hunters. There is already plenty of guides to help them kill sheep now, in addition it seeks to limit air taxis and transporters. I should have known better when I listened to Thor Stacey speak at the BOG. He speaks as smooth as a used car salesman.

    If they can limit air transporters,, they can limit resident access.

    Those that control access, controls allocation.
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    Mark, is there any discussion of limiting the number of assistant guides a guide can employ? In other words, if the guides are limited but there is no limit to assistant guides there is essentially no limit to the number of clients/hunters that a guide can take....
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
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  10. #10

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    as usual you and bushrat are right on.
    thanks for the heads up
    wes
    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I got sucked into thinking this was a good thing too. This bill will do nothing to limit the number of non resident hunters. There is already plenty of guides to help them kill sheep now, in addition it seeks to limit air taxis and transporters. I should have known better when I listened to Thor Stacey speak at the BOG. He speaks as smooth as a used car salesman.

    If they can limit air transporters,, they can limit resident access.

    Those that control access, controls allocation.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default The DNR final plan does limit assistants

    As I said in the previous post, the DNR plan went through many changes that caused us to oppose it. One was that since so many guides complained, they upped the number of asst. guides a registered/master guide who wins a concession can use, from 3 to 6. But yes, there are limits on the number of asst guides each concession guide can use.

    So for an example, in 20A where we have a lot of problems, in Guide Use Area 20-04, the final DNR plan allows for 4 full concessions (which is 4 registered/master guides who can each have 6 assistant guides) and 2 limited concessions, which has a limit of 1 assistant I believe. But still, that would be better than what we have now, believe it or not, even though the total number of guides in that area could be 32.

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    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    I got sucked into thinking this was a good thing too. This bill will do nothing to limit the number of non resident hunters. There is already plenty of guides to help them kill sheep now, in addition it seeks to limit air taxis and transporters. I should have known better when I listened to Thor Stacey speak at the BOG. He speaks as smooth as a used car salesman.

    If they can limit air transporters,, they can limit resident access.





    Those that control access, controls allocation.


    That's why you should buy a supercub and put that pilot certificate to work for yourself, instead of buying all that swarovski crystal all the time...

    I agree, this bill doesn't really solve the problem, could make it worse for some...

  13. #13

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    Once again look at who is pushing this program and that should tell you all you need to know. Follow the money!

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    What is amazing to me is the tone and the dislike of guides. Who provides most (approx 70-80%)of the funding so us residents get basically get everything for a minimal cost??? I hear I read a lot about sheep and the conserving of the resource. Well I can speak for the Brooks Range. Guides are strictly limited on the number of hunters they can take a season. Let's say it's 10 in an area but the guide only takes 6 hunters (to conserve the resource for the future of the population). Well in 2013 there was well over 100 sheep drop off hunters in the Brooks from a few Air Taxi services and god knows how many there actually were when you add all the guys up with 10-30 best friends and the rest of the operators. They have done it in many areas already and they're on their way to doing it in the Brooks something needs to be done or there will be nothing left, but that means everyone needs limited not just guides. I have no problem with limiting guides, but all user groups have to be limited including us residents if you want the resource around for future generations.

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    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fear Knot View Post
    What is amazing to me is the tone and the dislike of guides. Who provides most (approx 70-80%)of the funding so us residents get basically get everything for a minimal cost??? I hear I read a lot about sheep and the conserving of the resource. Well I can speak for the Brooks Range. Guides are strictly limited on the number of hunters they can take a season. Let's say it's 10 in an area but the guide only takes 6 hunters (to conserve the resource for the future of the population). Well in 2013 there was well over 100 sheep drop off hunters in the Brooks from a few Air Taxi services and god knows how many there actually were when you add all the guys up with 10-30 best friends and the rest of the operators. They have done it in many areas already and they're on their way to doing it in the Brooks something needs to be done or there will be nothing left, but that means everyone needs limited not just guides. I have no problem with limiting guides, but all user groups have to be limited including us residents if you want the resource around for future generations.

    I do not dislike guides, I have several that are friends, one of which I spoke to for over an hour this week about this very issue. He agrees that the resource can't sustain the current take.

    You are correct about the Brooks,, and do you know why, all those residents are driving past every sheep range in Alaska to hunt there??? Because all the other areas near Anchorage and Fairbanks are either shot out of legal rams, or dominated by commercial operations.

    You are also correct that the time has come for us residents to pay to play and residents may need to be limited too,, but I think that the non residents should be limited first and lets give that a year or 2 to see how the sheep do, since they kill more sheep than residents do as they are more successful.
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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fear Knot View Post
    What is amazing to me is the tone and the dislike of guides.
    It's not a dislike of guides - it's a recognition that unlimited guide/non-resident opportunity comes with a cost to the resource and resident access. You're likely correct that all user groups will need to have restrictions, but a reasonable place to start is with a limitation on non-resident take - and that takes the form of a guide limitation similar to the Brooks. It's not because of a dislike of guides, though - far from it.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I got no issue with guides….except when their political lobby tries to limit my ability to access my own **** state so they can come up from California and sell another sheep hunt.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

  18. #18
    Member Happily's Avatar
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    There's a thing called hunting regulations which can be adjusted up and down to control the take by residents in areas of need "regulated" by game and fish. This bill only serves a few

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    It has come to my attention perhaps I wasn't clear in my criticism of HB 158.

    The Board of Game just deferred all the sheep proposals asking for some limitations on guided hunters (and guides), or an early resident-only sheep season. AGAIN. This has been going on far too long. Right now there is a bill in the legislature that would limit guides. As Thor Stacey said in his testimony, unless enough resident hunters chime in to support this bill, it will die. The only problem as I see it, is that the bill morphed and now includes language that doesn't need to be there. Language that naturally concerns the resident hunter.

    That language needs to go. So if folks want to chime in, and support limiting guides in any fashion (on the assumption the BOG isn't going to do it anytime soon), tell legislators they first have to take out language that could affect residents. This isn't about residents. This isn't about air taxis/transporters.

    Hey, I like the idea of your bill, but I can't support it because there's this brown stain on it now. It's that simple.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    You are correct about the Brooks,, and do you know why, all those residents are driving past every sheep range in Alaska to hunt there??? Because all the other areas near Anchorage and Fairbanks are either shot out of legal rams, or dominated by commercial operations.
    You realize that there is a concession program on the Federal land up there which limits guides and consequently non-residents, right?

    The state program would be similar. DNR would have the ability to limit pressure similar to the Federal Concession program by limiting the number of guides. Azzwhipe guides will be weeded out, similar to the federal program. The public can complain about over hunting and "bad" guides and the DNR will be obligated to take action.

    The BOG isn't going to do anything, other than put us all on a draw. They've done nothing for the last 5 years, and yet again, their plan is to wait it out and get more information. In the mean time sheep hunting keeps sliding down the tubes.

    The current system has ZERO limit on the number of guides and their assistants that can work on state land. Right now its completely saturated.

    Read the program and think about it for yourself, take a look at the selection process. Read the FAQ... The "game hog" guides won't win a concession due to the scoring system, a little guy has a better chance of beating him out because he'll have less of an impact both socially and biologically, this portion of their hunt plan accounts for about 1/3 of the points. They'll all have to consider these aspects when prepare their concession proposal. Once they win a concession, they'll be under contract to follow through with their proposed hunt plan. They can't change and add more guides/hunters as they see fit.

    Its not just about sheep, its about all animals. Sheep just happen to be the most controversial at the moment. Also note that as part of the concession proposal is predator control requirements... There are guys that will win concessions that won't really need/want to hunt sheep (not sure why), and will focus more on moose, caribou, bears etc, similar to what we have now. Just because they win, doesn't mean that they'll all hire 6 guides and go to town on the critters. I'm sure a few may, but not all.

    In 20A there are 34 licensed guides right now(including duplicates between GUAs), and lord knows how many assistants along with them. The concession program will limit it to 13 full concessions and 4 limited. A full concession can have up to 6 assistant guides and the limited concessions can have one assistant and only take 4 clients per year. Of those 34 there are a few huge operations which employ at least 6 assistant guides or more. They may or may not survive, and will likely have to downsize a bit to fit into the mold. There are other areas (19C) which also has game hog guides who are taking 12-15 sheep a year... its unlikely these type of operations will continue. As of now there is no limit on state land to prohibit this...

    The BOG isn't going to solve anything. They don't want a draw because as they see it, everyone will have to share the burden (which is BS). I will put $$$ on it that if the concession program fails we'll be on a draw, in at least 20A within the next 5 years.

    The way I look at from a resident DIY hunter standpoint... we have nothing to lose. We can always chase the NR draw/allocation if this doesn't work.

    Bushrat Nailed it... Support the bill but not the amendment.

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